Re: Gum woes

From: Scott Wainer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/09/05-05:13:57 PM Z
Message-id: <001e01c554ec$c806efc0$55affea9@scottho3aakafr>

Hi Chris,

> Scott, I should make clear that when I use a formula of 1 gum/pigment, 1
> gum, 1 1/2 water, and 1/2 am di saturated, that I am always using a 1:1
> to di ratio; the water is just diluting the strength of my am di--in other
> words, 2 tsp of gum, 2 tsp of am di solution makes up my mix. It's
> to have it liquid enough to spread easily, but not so liquid it absorbs
> the paper like water.

So basically this would cut the sensitivity of the emulsion to about 1/4
speed but the visosity of the emulsion stays the same? Wouldn't that also
cut the amount of pigment (to 1/4 strength) that was applied making it a
thinner coat? If I normally use 4ml of sensitizer (2ml of gum/pigment and
2ml of dichromate) to coat a 5x7 image, using the above ratio I would have
1/2ml gum/pigment + 1/2ml gum + 1-1/2ml water + 1/2ml dichromate; which is
still 4ml for a 5x7 image. To get the same intensity it seems to me I would
have to apply 4 coats. Is there a reason to do this? I seem to remember
reading somewhere that shadow (?) detail can be built up through several
coats, is this what I would be doing? Could I use 2ml gum/pigment + 1-1/2ml
water + 1/2 ml dichromate to get the same effect?

> Scott, I have used Lenox for gum, and with correct sizing it worked OK,
> was a more absorbent paper and a less dimensionally stable paper than
> Fabriano. I use nothing but Fabriano now. It does not budge much when
> shrinking and developing.

Yes, I think the paper was part of the problem. I brush sized with out
shrinking it first and found that after the first coat/development it shrunk
slightly which made negative alignment a problem. I had some Lenox that had
been shrunk but not sized and it just soaked up the sensitizer and stained
completely - the pigment didn't wash out of the unexposed areas. So I guess
the Lenox is strictly for other processes since I haven't had any problems

> I truly think a lot of the gum problem comes in the sizing. If you are
> using printmaking papers, traditionally they are not sized as heavily as
> others because they have to accept the inks. In printmaking (silkscreen,
> intaglio, etc) I do use Lenox because of its cheapness, but I notice it is
> less absorbent than, say, an Arches Cover, so I know it has more sizing
> other printmaking papers, but it just isn't as well sized nor as sturdy a
> paper as Fabriano.

I was thinking about sizing by soaking and squeeging by rolling the paper
face up on glass with a piece of stiff pvc pipe. If I used that method with
a 3% gelatin size + hardener added (glyaxol or chrome alum) do you think
that would be better than brush sizing only one side? I'm not concerned with
the back of the print so it wouldn't matter much of the back wasn't really
smooth would it? Since I plan on using Fabriano Uno and Arches Aquarelle for
3 color gums, should I size them in addition to shrinking them? I saw some
of Sam Wang's images on the Unblinkingeye website and liked the look of gum
over cyanotype. Reading his article, I noticed that he said he doesn't size
his papers when doing gum over cyanotype.

> I also have to mention that I use intensely colored layers, and with a
> size, staining does not happen. I only back off with my color strength
> I feel it is too chromatically brilliant for my subject matter, never
> because of stain. And that is with only a 3 layer print. This, again,
> of Fabriano Artistico HPEW (not Rives BFK and others).
> (Can you tell I am out of school or what???? I mordancaged til 1 AM last
> night!!! And then watched a movie til 3 AM!!)

As I have said before, I am extremely colorblind - colors look dull and
don't vibrate as non-colorblind people have told me they do. With that in
mind, I once took an oil painting class with a professor that does copy work
at the Smithsonian and couldn't figure out why he always put his sunglasses
on before looking at my paintings. When I asked him about it he said they
made his eyes hurt because I used pigments straight out of the tube. I had a
tendency to use colors that clashed since I couldn't see what they did. I
also thought it funny that my color photography teacher gave up on trying to
teach me color balance and told me to take my images as far out of balance
as I could through cross processing and temperature adjustment. Have you
ever seen a neon natural landscape? As for being out of school, isn't it
great? I was on vacation from work last week and spent 10-12 hours a day in
the darkroom the whole time. It was wonderful.

Regards, Scott
Received on Mon May 9 19:32:57 2005

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